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Our memories of the iPod

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It’s official: the iPod is over. After 20 years, Apple introduced this week that it was discontinuing the final product within the model that outlined music gamers within the mid-2000s and helped catapult Apple to mainstream success.

Loads of us at The Verge have fond recollections of our days spent utilizing the music gamers over that two-decade run, so we determined to put in writing a few of them all the way down to replicate not simply on what a fantastic music participant it was but additionally what an necessary gadget it was in our lives on the time. Plus, we’ve bought loads of scars from this stuff getting destroyed or “going lacking.”

Listed below are our recollections of shopping for iPods, rediscovering them, nurturing them again to life, and typically simply dropping them.


I’ve two iPod tales: one concerning the first one I ever bought and one other concerning the final one I bought new.

My first MP3 participant was truly a 2GB Walkman, however as quickly as I noticed the “Nano-chromatic” ad for the fourth-gen iPod Nano, I made a decision I used to be going to purchase it. The primary downside was that I used to be 12, and $149 was a lot of cash for me — so I spent months scraping collectively allowances, cash from mowing lawns, and present playing cards. Once I lastly had sufficient, I marched into Toys R Us and picked out a blue one. Lastly, I used to be about to get my first iPod.

I hadn’t thought of gross sales tax and was brief a number of {dollars}. The cashier should’ve realized how shattered I used to be as a result of they supplied to cowl the remainder in what was virtually definitely the best act of kindness I’d skilled in my younger life. I nonetheless have that iPod, although its battery not holds a cost.

Quick ahead a number of years, and I used to be a stereotypical techy teen with a jailbroken and modded iPod Contact fourth gen. At one level, I uninstalled one thing that was apparently important utilizing the jailbreaking software Cydia and was fully unable to revive the iPod again to working situation. After a number of months, I made a decision to dig the gadget out of my closet and provides restoring it one other shot. Miraculously, it labored, and my iPod was again to operating inventory iOS 5.

The following day, as I used to be getting out of my very cool minivan, it slid out of my pocket and fell onto the concrete driveway, shattering the display. RIP to an actual one. – Mitchell Clark


The iPod was the primary “cool” gadget I ever owned. I had a string of crappy different MP3 gamers, a Diamond Rio and an Archos Jukebox, however then I purchased a gold iPod Mini. It held 4 gigs of music, which even again then felt like lower than a few of its opponents, but it surely was tiny and quick and the factor felt like magic. Most of all, it didn’t skip each time the automotive hit a bump like a bunch of the opposite exhausting drive-based gamers I had.

The Mini went in all places with me for years till it was stolen out of my automotive in my highschool car parking zone. (I can nonetheless image precisely the place my automotive was parked, the climate that day, all the pieces concerning the second I found it was gone.) I couldn’t afford one other one, so I went again to my different gadgets, all of which now appeared awful regardless that they really held fairly a bit extra music. However I saved the white headphones as a result of so long as I had these, it form of felt like I nonetheless had an iPod. Till I hit a pothole and the factor skipped tracks. – David Pierce


A fifth-generation iPod.
Picture by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

My first iPod was the fifth-gen iPod Video. The primary-gen iPod got here out in my freshman yr of highschool, and I watched enviously for years as all of the wealthy children confirmed theirs off between lessons. In my junior yr, I mainly put collectively a PowerPoint for my dad, detailing my grades and all my foolish highschool achievements. My dad didn’t say something, and I sulked off, resigned to my destiny.

I used to be fully stunned when, a number of weeks later, a bundle from Apple arrived at our door. My dad had a smirk on his face. It was the black model, too, since he knew I used to be a goth teen. (This was regardless of the very fact he wished I’d cease being goth with each fiber of his being). My dad was a stoic man, so he didn’t actually say a lot aside from “take pleasure in.” Evidently, I loaded that child up with as many films and songs as it could maintain. It was my companion for late-night examine classes and hour-long commutes to highschool. Most of the time, nevertheless, it was what I turned to as my mother and father muddled their approach by way of a messy breakup.

You may in all probability say one thing about sulky teenagers listening to emo music as their mother and father cut up up in explosive trend. But it surely was an immense consolation to slide on my headphones and play my music, uninterrupted by notifications and apps.

My iPod Video lasted me about three years, till someday, I dropped it on the sidewalk and it cut up open. By that point, I used to be very a lot over its buggy interface and a click on wheel that didn’t wish to cooperate anymore. I needed a newfangled iPod Contact. However one thing about my poor, loyal iPod Video mendacity shattered on a sidewalk made me tear up.

I took it residence and saved it in a field for years. I couldn’t throw it out. I then forgot about it for nearly a decade and, unusually, discovered it when cleansing out my junk in 2018. My dad had simply died, however there, once I was lacking him most, was probably the most treasured items he ever gave me — a reminder of how a lot he cherished me even when he couldn’t categorical it. And perhaps, simply perhaps, me discovering it that day was my dad comforting me from past the grave. – Victoria Music


My “first iPod” story is rather a lot like David’s. My first MP3 participant was a Rio that might maintain only a handful of songs, and for some motive, I’ve a really robust reminiscence of a type of being a James Bond theme remix. My iPod Mini — in its superb child blue shade — was a large improve. It may maintain far more songs than my Rio, and it was simply enjoyable to make use of. I nonetheless miss the scroll wheel! (I don’t know if I put that James Bond music on it.) It’s certainly one of my favourite gadgets ever, and I want I nonetheless had it. – Jay Peters


Apple Ipod Mini at the Apple Computer store in Soho.,

An iPod mini.
Picture by Andrew Savulich/NY Day by day Information Archive through Getty Photographs

The iPod Mini was my first iPod, and I’m fairly positive that it aided in some minor listening to loss. I used it every single day, nestled into its helpful plastic cradle and tucked into my waistband, to drum to the beat of my favourite music as I used to be studying find out how to play, a pastime that additional aided in stated listening to loss. This iPod additionally joined me aboard my household’s tractor once I needed to mow our garden each week, a chore that in all probability contributed to listening to loss, too. I’ve no unimaginable tales to inform about my possession of this iPod, aside from it went in all places with me and dutifully did its job as a no-nonsense music participant that additionally had Brick Sport built-in. – Cameron Faulkner


My first iPod was the very first iPod — and it was purchased in a candy try by my mother to cheer me up. I used to be excited to have a lot storage on one gadget and to have an MP3 participant that labored out of the field with iTunes. I used it continually, typically plugged into a type of horrible tape decks and typically into a type of horrible FM transmitters. The tunes carried me alongside 12-hour drives forwards and backwards from school, and having all my music in a single place took the sting out of the lack of my favourite sleeve of combine CDs in a Dillard’s car parking zone in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

A screenshot of a conversation from iMessage. The sender asks: “Peter, it’s been 20 years, did you take my first gen iPod and sit on that secret for decades?” Peter responds with an SNL gif of Stefon saying “Yes,” then later replies “lol no.”

Investigating a disappearance.
Screenshot: Alex Cranz

Then, someday, it vanished. It wasn’t in any of my purses. It wasn’t in my automotive. It wasn’t in my bed room. I used to be residence on summer season break from school, so it positively wasn’t in my dorm room. It was merely gone. I bought a less expensive iPod Shuffle to interchange it, and it wasn’t almost pretty much as good. For years I’ve puzzled if my youthful brother secretly took it so he may look cool to the opposite excessive schoolers.

I lately tried to research this lengthy lingering thriller, however the outcomes of my investigation have been inconclusive. – Alex Cranz


My first iPod was the 40GB click on wheel mannequin. I purchased it in like-new situation off eBay in 2005. My favourite factor about it wasn’t the massive space for storing, the shiny end that I protected in a Griffin clear case, or the plain cool issue. My favourite factor about it was a top-mounted FM radio transmitter accent referred to as iTrip. It appeared like a water tank that plugged into the headphone jack but by some means additionally appeared like a pure extension of the iPod. Because it ran off the iPod battery, I may leap right into a buddy’s automotive and simply have them tune to 87.9, which was nice since many vehicles didn’t have an aux jack or Bluetooth but.

When the iPod with video got here out, I knew I needed to have it. So I bought my iPod on eBay and purchased my first model new Apple product: a black 60GB fifth-generation iPod. I actually needed to guard this iPod, so I took it to a mall kiosk that applies clear vinyl protectors — massive mistake. They used a razor blade to chop across the iPod wheel and fully scratched it up. They didn’t take accountability for it, so, in my sorrow, I bought it on eBay at a loss. I couldn’t get myself to purchase one other new Apple gadget for a very long time, however within the meantime, I performed MP3s on Home windows Cell gadgets just like the Cingular / HTC 2125 and on a Game Boy Advance licensed MP3 player accessory that got here with a 32MB compact flash card. – Umar Shakir


I grew up an Apple hater as a child with a foolish predisposition to dislike its merchandise as a result of I used to be all about gaming and PCs. I initially scoffed on the early iPods in favor of my Discman. I used to be the embodiment of this Penny Arcade comic strip. I didn’t attempt or use an iPod for the longest time, however I piggy-backed on a number of the “effectively, truly”-style rhetoric I overheard about them not even having good sound high quality. When downloading MP3s turned a lifestyle, my eyes had been educated on bizarre gamers from different manufacturers like iRiver and even Intel. (How becoming, as an annoying PC fanboy, to assume “Intel!”)

I couldn’t afford any of them in highschool, however, in early school, I landed on a Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen that was mainly a laptop computer exhausting drive in an unsightly plastic shell with a small monochrome display. That factor was like a small tank of low cost detachable storage that when bought me brazenly mocked at a buddy’s drunken basement social gathering when it was my flip to plug into the audio system. I positively didn’t discuss shit again to them whereas being secretly envious of their smooth iPods. Nope, under no circumstances.

My robust and misguided opinions towards Apple’s merchandise started to melt once I began utilizing Macs in my school images lessons, and I finally picked up my first and solely iPod — a lime green third-gen iPod Shuffle. I purchased it for reasonable on eBay to make use of whereas operating, and that didn’t pan out, after all. However I cherished it regardless of its flawed, buttonless design. I nonetheless have it to today, and if I ever discover the annoying 3.5mm to USB charger, perhaps I’ll energy it on and see if I can bear in mind the earbud button sequences to manage play, pause, skip, and rewind.

Or perhaps I shouldn’t as a result of I shudder to assume what cringe music would possibly nonetheless stay on it. –Antonio G. Di Benedetto


My first iPod was a hand-me-down from my older sister. It was a black iPod Basic stuffed with angsty songs that seventh graders in all probability shouldn’t have had entry to, like Panic! On the Disco’s Mendacity Is the Most Enjoyable a Woman Can Have With out Taking Her Garments Off.

That little machine was with me by way of the whole lot of my most awkward (and tried emo) part. Once I ultimately bought my very personal second-gen blue iPod Nano, issues didn’t change. I plugged it into the household laptop and loaded it up with my sister’s assortment of emo songs from iTunes, getting myself a duplicate of all of the P!ATD, The Academy Is, and Taking Again Sunday songs a preteen lady may hope for.

My iPod is now accumulating mud someplace in my mother and father’ home. Wherever you might be iPod, I hope you’re cozy in the blue sock I purchased you. – Emma Roth

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